Current Affairs – Daily Current Affairs 2020
May 15 – International Family Day:
- International Family Day observed globally on 15th May every year.
- This day is spread awareness about the importance of families and the role of the international community in the development of the families.
- A happy and healthy family makes up for a supportive society, which in turn makes better citizens of the nation.
May 15 – National Endangered Species Day:
- National Endangered Species Day is observed every year on the third Friday of May.
- To raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation and restoration efforts for all imperilled species.
- Endangered Species Act 1973, focuses on the protection of wildlife and threatened species.
Finance Minister Announce Measures For Relief And Credit Support To MSMEs And Business To Support Indian Economy’s Fight Against COVID-19:
- FM Nirmala Sitharaman shared the first instalment of the mega Rs 20 lakh crore package with the focus today being on the relief to the MSME sector.
- Rs 3 lakh crore Emergency Working Capital Facility for Businesses, including MSMEs
- Rs 20,000 crore Subordinate Debt for Stressed MSMEs
- Rs 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund of Funds
- New Definition of MSME and other Measures for MSME
- No Global tenders for Government tenders of upto Rs 200 crore
- Extending the Employees Provident Fund Support for business and organised workers for another 3 months for salary months of June, July and August 2020
- EPF Contribution to be reduced for Employers and Employees for 3 months to 10% from 12% for all establishments covered by EPFO for next 3 months
- 30,000 crore Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFC/HFC/MFIs
- 45,000 crore Partial credit guarantee Scheme 2.0 for Liabilities of NBFCs/MFIs
- Rs 90,000 crore Liquidity Injection for DISCOMs
- Relief to Contractors given by extension of up to six months for completion of contractual obligations, including in respect of EPC and concession agreements
- Relief to Real Estate Projects the registration and completion date for all registered projects will be extended up to six months.
- Tax relief to business as pending income tax refunds to charitable trusts and non-corporate businesses and professions to be issued immediately
- Reduction in Rates of “Tax Deduction at Source” and “Tax Collected at Source” by 25% for the remaining period of FY 20-21
- Due Dates for various tax related compliances extended
Japan’s Nippon Life, AXA Eye Strategic Investment In IndusInd Bank:
- Private lender IndusInd Bank Ltd is in discussions with at least three strategic investors, including Japan’s Nippon Life and Europe’s AXA Group, as the bank plans to raise more than $500 million to shore up its balance sheet, said two people aware of the development.
World Bank approves $1 billion social protection package for India:
- In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank has announced $1 billion social protection package for India.
- This package will be linked to the programmes launched by the Government of India.
- Hence, it will support India’s efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households who severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NDB approves USD 1 bn Emergency Assistance Program Loan to India:
- Emergency Assistance Program Loan of USD 1 billion has been approved by the New Development Bank (NDB) to India.
- The Emergency Assistance Program Loan aims to support the Government of India in its attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as to minimize the human, social and economic losses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- This is NDB’s second emergency assistance program in order to help its member countries to fight COVID-19.
US’ CDC commits $3.6 million to assist Government of India:
- An assistance of $3.6 million to India has been committed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The amount aims to enhance India’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic. It will also led to prevention, preparedness, and response activities in India.
- It will also help India in its effort to increase the laboratory capacity for SARS-COV-2 testing.
Federal Bank tie-up with MoneyGram for direct-to-bank deposits service:
- A private sector bank, Federal Bank Limited tie-up with MoneyGram Payment System to offer a cost-effective direct-to-bank account credit option for customers in India.
- This tie-up will help the non-resident Indians with access to modern, low cost, fast, easy and reliable ways for transferring money to India.
Centre For Disease Control Of The US Commits $3.6 Million To India:
- To help fight the spread of COVID-19, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention committed $3.6 million to the Indian govt.
- The funds are also meant to be used to support the development of Infection Prevention and Control centres of excellence.
Raksha Mantri commissions ICGS “Sachet” & two interceptor boats:
- Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has commissioned Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Sachet and two interceptor boats (IBs) C-450 and C-451 in Goa via video conference.
- This is the first time in the annals of Indian maritime history that a coast guard ship was commissioned through the digital medium, maintaining the strict protocol of social distancing in the backdrop of pandemic COVID-19.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers meet on COVID-19:
- A virtual conference of Foreign Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member countries was held to deliberate on cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Foreign Ministers of the member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation participated in the video conference.
- In the video conference, India was represented by the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
2nd Extraordinary G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministerial Meet:
- The second edition of Extraordinary G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministerial Meet was held under the presidency of Saudi Arabia.
- The meeting was chaired by the Saudi Minister of Commerce, Majid Al Qasabi, in the presence of the Minister of Investment, Khalid Al-Faleh.
- In the virtual meeting, India was represented by the Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers Meet held via Video Conference:
- The 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting was held through Video Conference.
- India was represented by Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in the video conference.
- The meeting was held with a theme: Delivering a co-ordinated Commonwealth COVID-19 response.
TVS Group, Sundaram Med & IIT-M develops “Sundaram Ventago”:
- The Sundaram Ventago is a low-cost, automated respiratory assist device which has been developed jointly by the TVS group, Sundaram Medical Foundation and IIT-Madras.
- This versatile and mobile device will assist the clinicians in constantly monitoring and reporting respiratory parameters.
- The device has been developed to provide respiratory support to patients through the controlled and automated squeezing of a self-inflating or AMBU bag.
- The device comprises various functionalities to control respiratory rate (breaths per minute), tidal volume, pressure parameters and I:E ratios.
Spirulina groundnut Chikki developed by CFTRI to boost immunity:
- In order to boost immunity during pandemic, Spirulina groundnut Chikki has been developed by the Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI).
- The Spirulina groundnut Chikki can provide micro-nutrients along with boosting immunity of the people during this time of pandemic.
- The Spirulina groundnut Chikki comprises of micro-nutrients such as Vitamin A, Beta Carotene and easily digestible algal proteins.
ICCR launches song “United we Fight” to fight COVID-19:
- A musical creation titled “United we Fight” has been unveiled by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
- It brings together composers, musicians and singers from across India to send a message of hope, joy, resilience, fighting spirit and never say die attitude of all in our collective fight against COVID 19.
- This song is a musical presentation interlacing English lyrics into the notes and beats of Indian classical music, hence spreading the essence of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
WTO chief Roberto Azevedo resigns from post:
- The head of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo will step down from his post on August 31.
- He became the WTO chief in 2013. The 62-year-old Brazilian career diplomat’s second four-year term was not scheduled to end until September 2021.
- He is cutting seven-year tenure marked in recent years by intense pressure from US President Donald Trump.
- Donald Trump had accused the Geneva-based trade body of an anti-US bias and other complaints.
V. Vidyavathi becomes new DG of Archaeological Survey of India:
- IAS officer V. Vidyavathi is appointed as the new Director-General of Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) effective from 12th May 2020.
- She is a 1991 batch Karnataka cadre officer.
V. Admiral G.M. Hiranandani Memorial Rolling Trophy 2020 announced:
- Lieutenant Commander Akshay Kumar was awarded the Vice Admiral G.M. Hiranandani Memorial Rolling Trophy for the year 2020.
- He commissioned in Anti-Submarine Warfare School of the Southern Naval Command in Kochi. The award ceremony was held at the Maritime Warfare Centre, Kochi, Kerala.
Kerala Launches Portal For Non-Residents To Book Cabs For Home:
- Kerala Tourism launched an online platform to enable non-residents Keralites to book vehicles of tour operators to travel back to the state.
- Keralites stranded in other parts of the country can submit enquiries through the department’s website.
Gujarat Govt Forms Six-Member Committee To Revive Post-CoVID Economy:
- Gujarat, the most Industrialised state in India, has set up a six-member committee of experts to deliberate on economic revival measures, including fiscal restructuring, in the post-COVID-19 pandemic scenario and provide comprehensive suggestions.
New Initiative By Railways And Postal Dept For Door Delivery, Pick Up Of Parcels:
- In a first of its kind initiative in the country, the Thiruvananthapuram division of Southern Railways and Postal department in Kerala entered into a tie-up for door delivery and pick up of parcels to help people during the lockdown.
Government of India sets up “Rice Export Promotion Forum”:
- Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF) has been set up by the Government of India to provide stimulus to the rice exports.
- The Rice Export Promotion Forum has been set up under the aegis of the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Promotion Development Authority (Apeda).
West Bengal govt launches ‘Matir Smristi’ scheme:
- West Bengal Government has launched ‘Matir Smristi’ scheme to utilise 50,000 acres of barren land in 6 districts.
- This scheme helps to generate income activities in horticulture and pisciculture involving the locals.
- The ‘Matir Smristi’ scheme will benefit around 2.5 lakh people in rural Bengal.
Dr Harsh Vardhan dedicates “COBAS 6800” testing machine to the nation:
- Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan dedicated the “COBAS 6800”, COVID-19 testing machine to the nation.
- The COBAS 6800 is the first such testing machine procured by the Government for testing COVID-19 cases and has been installed at the National Centre for Disease Control in Delhi.
Current Affairs – Daily Current Affairs 2020
India ranks 74th on WEF Global Energy Transition Index:
- India has been ranked at 74th position on the Global ‘Energy Transition Index’ by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
- India has moved up two positions with improvements on all key parameters of economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability.
- India is one of the few countries in the world to have made consistent year-on-year progress since 2015.
- Sweden has topped the “Energy Transition Index (ETI)”. Switzerland and Finland are on 2nd and 3rd rank respectively.
FM announces 2&3rd tranche of measures for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”:
- Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the details of the 3rd tranche of Economic Relief Package for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” amid COVID-19 pandemic.
- This 3rd tranche is the part of economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore has been announced with the prime objective of making India self-reliant.
CAPF canteens to sell only indigenous products from June 1:
- Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will sell only indigenous products in their canteens.
- This will be applicable to all or any CAPF canteens across the country from 01 June 2020.
- The move will affect 50 lakh families, of about 10 lakh CAPF personnel, using indigenous products.
- This decision was taken by Union Home Ministry after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the nation, urged citizens to make the country self-reliant and use locally-made products.
Indian Railways makes Aarogya Setu app mandatory for passengers:
- The Indian Railways has made the Aarogya Setu app mandatory for the passengers to travel by train.
- According to the announcement made by the Indian Railways, it has become mandatory for passengers to download Aarogya Setu application in their mobile phones, before starting their journey.
J&K & Haryana to provide tap connections till 2022:
- The Jammu and Kashmir administration and Haryana Government have framed a plan to implement the Jal Jeevan mission to provide tap connections to every rural household by 2022.
- The Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide drinking water to every household.
Uttarakhand CM launches ‘HOPE’ portal to help unemployed youth:
- Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has launched “HOPE” (Helping Out People Everywhere) portal to help unemployed youth to get jobs opportunities.
- The portal will be used to collect the data on the youths of the state who are staying in as well as the recently returned migrant youths.
UN releases report “World Economic Situation and Prospects”:
- The United Nations has released its report “World Economic Situation and Prospects” as of mid-2020.
- In this report, UN has projected growth rates of individual countries as well as global economy for fiscal year 2020 & 2021.
- According to the “World Economic Situation and Prospects” as of mid-2020, the growth rate of India has been projected to grow at 1.2% in fiscal year 2020.
- While the report has also indicated a slight recovery in the growth rate of India for fiscal year 2021 and stated that it would clock a 5.5% growth rate in 2021.
- As the COVID-19 pandemic has paralysed the world, the UN has projected that the global economy will contract sharply by 3.2% in fiscal year 2020, with only a gradual recovery of lost output projected for fiscal year 2021.
Slovenia becomes 1st coronavirus-free country in Europe:
- Slovenia becomes the 1st nation in Europe to declare an official end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- More restrictions have now been eased in the country and people entering from other European Union states.
- The country housing over 2 million people bordered with Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia has reported 1,464 cases of COVID-19 disease and 103 deaths after declaring a pandemic.
Italy develops ‘iFeel-You’ bracelet for social distancing:
- The Genoa-based Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) has developed ‘iFeel-You’ bracelet for social distancing.
- This bracelet will help users respect social distancing rules.
- The bracelet has been developed as the measures for safeguarding against the coronavirus lockdown is being gradually lifted.
Indian boxer Akhil Kumar re-inducted into NADA disciplinary panel:
- Former Commonwealth gold medalist Indian boxer Akhil Kumar was re-inducted into the Disciplinary Panel of National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA).
- He was formerly served in the panel from 2017 to 2019.
Grammy-winning singer Betty Wright passes away:
- The Grammy-winning soul singer, Betty Wright passed away.
- Her real name is Bessie Regina Norris. She is an R&B (Rhythm & blues) singer, songwriter and background vocalist.
- She received her first Grammy Award for the Best Song, “Where is the Love?”, at the age of 23.
Film actor Sai Gundewar passes away:
- Film actor, model, voiceover artist and an entrepreneur, Sai Gundewar passed away.
- His popularity rose in 2010 after his participation in the hit Reality TV show MTV Splitsvilla, Season 4.
- He has also acted alongside Aamir Khan in PK, and Rock on.